Colonel Tony Aylmer, Deputy Lieutenant of the Isle of Wight, has died aged 96.

He died at the The Elms Nursing Home in Bembridge on Tuesday, January 25.

He was the last surviving member of the Irish Guards who served during the Second World War.

The Irish Guards are sending their regimental mascot, an Irish wolfhound, to the funeral to commemorate the occasion.

His funeral will take place at St Mary’s Church, Brading on Monday, February 14 at noon.  

Isle of Wight County Press: Colonel Tony Aylmer.

Tony was a well-respected member of the Brading and Bembridge community.

Having been warned by the IRA not to return to his native Ireland, he moved to the Isle of Wight in 1984 upon retirement.

With his late wife, Shaunagh (née Guinness), he lived at Nunwell House with their three children Mary, Patrick and Rosie, and their beloved dogs, Anna and Tess.

He was an avid gardener and regularly attended to Nunwell’s walled gardens that flourished during the summer season when the house was open to the public.

He was born in Ireland and educated at Wellington College in England.

He was in the air-raid shelter at Wellington the night a German bomber scored a direct hit on the headmaster’s house, killing him.

As an Irish citizen he was not subject to conscription.

However, he sought adventure and enrolled in the British Army.

He saw active service crossing the Rhine (where his company commander was shot dead and he was wounded) and he witnessed the German surrender at Cuxhaven.

When asked how he celebrated VE Day, he said that everyone on the front line was too tired and too relieved to do anything; he took a bottle of whisky to his platoon and fell asleep.

After the war, he received a regular commission.

Eventually he became military assistant to Admiral of the Fleet, Earl Mountbatten of Burma (then Chief of the Defence Staff).

This was a high-powered role that required strategic thinking, charm and intelligence to grapple with world-wide political and defence business.

He subsequently accompanied Lord and Lady Mountbatten on a world tour that covered 16 countries and an impressive 36,000 miles.

He was appointed commanding officer of the Irish Guards in 1966 and took them on a nine-month tour to Aden.

On the Isle of Wight, he was closely associated with The Prince’s Trust, the Scouts, the British Legion and St John Ambulance. He was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant in 1991.

Tony led a fascinating life, and his stories will not be forgotten. He will be sorely missed by friends, family and those that admired his life-long service to Queen and country.